One of the major programs in high school football has named its fourth head coach in four seasons, as special team coordinator Billy Miller was nominated to replace Pepper Johnson at IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) On Tuesday.
Johnson is the defensive coordinator, and defensive line coach with the USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits. In his only season as head coach, he led the Ascenders to a 9-1 record and climbed to 17th in the final MaxPreps Top 25 rankings.
Johnson was the defensive coordinator for the Ascenders in the 2020 season, when they went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the Max preps Top 25. He was promoted to head coach after taking a similar position with Bobby Acosta, del Value (Texas). Last spring.
Miller is the fifth in the history of the program to join Chris Wink (2013-14), Kevin Wright (2015-19), Bobby Acosta (2020) and Paper Johnson (2021). He has been with Ascenders since 2014 and has previously worked with Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rutgers University under head coach Greg Schiano.
Scott Dean, Athletics Director at IMG Academy, said in a statement: “Over the past eight seasons, Billy has been an exceptional head coach for our student-athletes and his development off the field.” His passion and success on the field as assistant head coach and special team coordinator go hand in hand with his dedication to his off-field players through direct assistance in college placement and recruitment. We can’t be more excited to guide him to our program in the 2022 season.
The Ascenders will enter the next season with the prospect of entering the Precision Max preps Top 25 Rankings as one of the top 5 teams of the year.
Desmond Ricks (five-star CB), Jordan Johnson-Rubel (five-star CB), Stacey Gage (five-star RB) are among the top 10 players in the 2024 class in the top 100 of the 247 Sports Composite Rankings. Alice Robinson IV (five-star CB) and David Stone (five-star DL). They were all selected in the Maxpreps Sophomore All-America team last season.
Eight players from IMG’s 2023 class have been rated four-star or higher in the 247 Sports Composite Rankings, with Francis Mauigoa (five-star OT), Samuel M’Pemba (five-star ATH) and Colonel Tate (Five-star). Star WR)Will Norman (four-star DL) and Jordan Hall (four-star LB).
The Ascenders still have holes in their 2022 schedule but already have games against Central (Phoenix City, Ala.), De Smet Jesuit (St. Louis), East (Salt Lake City), Jones (Orlando), St. Francis Academy (Baltimore) And Venice (Fla.)
Only St. John Bosco (Bellflower, California) has a long active streak (eight) ending in the Max preps Top 25 since 2010. Ascenders move into 2022 and end up in the Max preps Top 25.